Thiem beats Federer to win Indian Wells title

Dominic Thiem ended Roger Federer’s bid for a record sixth Indian Wells title with a battling three-set victory in the final in California.

The Austrian seventh seed fought back to beat Federer 3-6 6-3 7-5.

Swiss Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, converted just two of 11 break points and made 32 unforced errors to Thiem’s 25.

Thiem secured his first title at a Masters 1000 event and will rise to fourth in the world rankings on Monday.

Federer, who lost last year’s final in Indian Wells to Juan Martin del Potro, made a confident start.

He created early break opportunities in Thiem’s first service game and converted his fourth break point of the opening set for a 2-0 lead.

Thiem, competing in his third Masters 1000 final, forced the error out of Federer’s backhand to get back on serve, but the Swiss kept him under pressure.

A fine backhand return of serve allowed Federer to break for a 5-3 lead, and he closed out the set in 36 minutes.

Federer looked comfortable and quickly created another two break opportunities in the second set, but the 37-year-old squandered them both.

A poor service game, with Federer rushing his approaches to the net, allowed Thiem to break and the Austrian held his nerve to force an unlikely third set.

Thiem saved a break point in a game lasting eight minutes to hold for 4-4, and overcame a nasty fall to break Federer three games later and serve for the title.

The Austrian, who won 70% of first-serve points, wrapped up the win when Federer sent a return into the net.

Federer, who won his 100th ATP title in Dubai in the week before Indian Wells, will move to fifth in the world rankings. –BBC

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